Tulsa Truck Accident Lawyers
Helping Oklahoma truck crash victims and families hold drivers and trucking companies accountable all over the southern United States
Collisions involving semi-trucks are often some of the most catastrophic collisions sustained on our roads. This is because the size, weight and speeds of semi-trucks contribute to more serious and deadly collisions than simple car collisions. As a result, the cases have more value than an ordinary car collision as well. Handling a truck accident case is much more specialized than car collisions. It is important that you retain counsel who is well-versed in these cases or it may very well result in you leaving money on the table when it comes time to either take the case to a jury or resolve the case.
At Biby Law Firm, our Tulsa truck accident lawyers understand the unique factors that govern why truck collisions happen, how to prove liability for the collisions and how to assess the likely value of the cases that we handle. Firm founder, Jacob Biby, has successfully handled trucking cases against some of the biggest corporations in American in venues all over the southern United States. Through our experience we will work with the best investigators and accident reconstructionists to make sure that your case is worked up properly. Our efforts for clients and their families have resulted in numerous six and seven figure results for clients that were injured by negligent truck drivers and/or the biggest trucking companies from all over America.
What makes trucking accident cases different?
The trucking industry is highly regulated by both federal and state agencies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees interstate trucking operations in America and has promulgated regulations that govern the interstate travel of semi-trucks on roadways across America. The State of Oklahoma has adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations as the law of Oklahoma.
Federal law mandates that trucking companies must carry a minimum of $750,000.00 of insurance coverage for any bodily injury. An experienced trucking attorney will know how to find the applicable policy limits, including any applicable umbrella policies. However, determining insurance coverage is only the beginning step in handling a trucking case. For example, semi-truck drivers are required to log their hours, have records of where they have been and they must be specially educated, trained, and licensed before ever getting behind the wheel of a semi-truck. If any driver or his company fails to follow the federal regulations, then they can both be deemed to be negligent as a matter of law. At Biby Law Firm we understand the regulations and we know how to obtain evidence that shows if regulations were being disobeyed that caused or contributed to you or your loved one’s injuries.
In addition, it is important that an attorney be retained quickly so that all relevant evidence can be retained. Your attorney will also need to consider any and all jurisdictions in which a lawsuit may be brought against the Defendants. This is because certain jurisdictions, judges and juries can make a huge difference in the value of a trucking case. For example, some jurisdictions may have caps on pain and suffering damages, while others may be extremely oriented toward injured people. Likewise, certain courts are known for ruling one way or the other on trucking cases.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were nearly 4,657 fatalities due to trucks in 2017. There were over 100,000 truck accidents nationwide that caused physical injuries.
What are the common causes of Tulsa truck accidents?
The most common cause of any collision is driver error. When it comes to tractor-trailer wrecks or crashes involving other commercial trucks, the leading causes include:
- Driver fatigue. This is a major cause of truck crashes. Fatigue is so well known that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established rules on how many hours (during a day and during a week) a truck driver can be on the roads before he/she must take a rest. Drivers who are tired can’t respond to emergencies and can’t control their truck. Research has proven that fatigued driving is the equivalent of drunk driving. Chronic fatigue is rampant in the trucking industry. We know how to determine if a driver was violating the hours of service (HOS) requirements at the time of a collision. Many vehicles are now equipped with video cameras showing the drivers and we know how to get those videos to determine why a collision occurred.
- Drunk driving. It’s tempting for many truck drivers who are away from home to stop and have a drink. Drinking and driving is a deadly mix. The FMCSA regulations require a company to test their truck driver employees after every collision. We will obtain these results through our investigation into the case. We often request punitive damages in addition to the economic damages and pain and suffering damages.
- Distracted driving. The FMCSA regulates say that it is illegal for a truck driver to be using a cell phone or other hand-held device. However, driving long hours without company gets lonely. It’s easy for drivers to focus on listening to music or trying to watch a video. Many drivers rely too much on their GPS systems to direct their traffic routes. Distracted drivers take their hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road, and their minds off the essential second-by-second operation of their truck. Distracted driving is the difference in life and death. We know this and we are prepared to discover if a collision was caused by distracted driving in violation of the FMCSA regulations.
- Speeding. FMCSA regulations govern the speed by which a driver can travel and the hours of service that can be completed safely. Despite the regulations, truck drivers are often under pressure from others to deliver their goods ahead of schedule. If drivers speed, the driver and the companies that pressured them to speed should be held accountable. We know how to find out if a truck driver had speeding issues and we will work to hold trucking companies who place profit above safety pay the price in court.
- Blind spots. Truck drivers are trained that their trucks have significant blind spots. They understand that most trucks with trailers don’t have visible sight lines behind the truck and to the sides of the truck. Yet, many truck accidents happen because the truck driver just didn’t see that another vehicle was in its path.
- Improperly secured truck loads. Truck loads should be properly secured. The items on the truck shouldn’t shift while the trucks are moving. Truck loads must meet certain weight limits. Unsecure loads and improperly loaded cargo can cause a truck driver to lose control.
- Driver inexperience. Each truck is unique. Drivers who drive commercial trucks must have a commercial driver’s license. Drivers should be trained on how to use their specific type of truck – box truck, van, 18-wheeler, semi-truck, or other type. However, drivers have often come to America to drive a truck and have little experience on American roads and may be unfamiliar with the rules of the road in America. Over the last several years, many fake truck driving schools have been found to be giving licenses to ill-equipped foreign truck drivers. We have experience discovering this information.
- Failure to inspect the vehicle before each trip. All parts of the truck should be routinely inspected before each trip. Unsafe trucks shouldn’t be driven until proper repairs are made.
Other common causes of trucking accidents are due to following too closely, improper merging, and other traffic regulations. Truck drivers also need to understand how to operate their trucks in bad weather. If you were injured by a truck traveling on local roads or on the interstate, contact us today.
Heavily traveled roads in Tulsa where truck accidents can occur
What are the common types of Oklahoma truck collisions?
Like cars, trucks can be involved in head-on crashes, sideswipes, broadside collisions, multi-vehicle pileups, and rear-end collisions. Accidents that are fairly unique to trucks include:
- Rollovers. Trucks are prone to rollovers because their center of gravity is different that the center of gravity for cars. When trucks roll over, the drivers can be killed. Any drivers, passenger, or pedestrians near the truck that rolls over may in danger.
- Jackknifes. Trucks are especially prone to jackknifes. A jackknife is when the trailer turns at a right angle to the tractor.
- Wide turns crashes. Large trucks make wide turns - especially when they are turning right. This means any car near the truck may be crushed by the truck when the turn occurs. Truck drivers have a duty to be extra cautious when making wide turns.
- Caught under bridges. Certain vehicles are simply too tall to travel under certain bridges or overpasses. If the truck doesn’t have the correct clearance, it can get jammed underneath the overpass or bridge, leading to pile-ups on the road. It can also damage the overpass, which can lead to car crashes up above, too.
- Under-ride accidents. It’s well-known that smaller cars can slide right under a truck killing the occupants of the car. Trucks are generally required (by law and by industry practice) to have protective under-ride guards so the car can’t slide underneath the truck.
- Spilled cargo. Any drivers in the path of the spilled cargo may run over the goods that fall out or may crash into other vehicles to avoid the spills. These truck accident cases are especially complex because many vehicles are often involved.
We work with investigators and the police to determine how truck accidents happened and who’s responsible. We will work to obtain video of the crashes, preserve logbooks, interview witnesses and work with traffic reconstruction experts to make sure that we understand exactly why a collision occurred. Our respected Tulsa lawyers also conduct extensive discovery to determine what happened, what safety precautions should have been taken, and why each defendant is liable.
Who is liable in a Tulsa truck accident?
Many different individuals and companies may be liable for your injuries when truck accidents happen. It’s critical to identify every responsible party so that they can each be held accountable and to maximize the amount of insurance coverage. Possible defendants in truck accident cases include:
- The driver
- The owners of the truck
- The trucking company that hires the drivers
- The broker of the load
- The shipping company that wants its cargo shipped
- Any person or business responsible for repairs to the truck or maintenance of the truck
- Businesses that sold alcohol to the driver
The companies responsible for the loading dock and other entities may also be responsible.
Why experience matters in Tulsa truck accident cases
At Biby Law Firm, we understand how devastating truck accident injuries are. We advise our clients about each phase of the truck accident case. This includes investigating the case right when it comes through the door. We do the hard work so that you can focus on healing. We will contact your doctors to fully understand how life-altering your injuries are. We demand compensation for each moment of physical pain and emotional suffering. We seek repayment for all your medical bills including:
- ER treatments
- Visits with specialists and your general physician
- Physical therapy
- Medical devices
We have experience handling numerous trucking cases that have resolved for six and seven figures in venues all over the southern United States. Our track record shows that we will work tirelessly for you to ensure that you and your family are protected so that you can return to a normal life.
Injured in a truck accident? Biby Law Firm can help
We have successfully litigated trucking cases involving serious injuries and deaths in courts all across the southern United States. Firm founder, Jacob Biby, has helped clients from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas in cases involving trucking negligence. We will make sure that you or your loved ones get answers about why they were injured or killed by a trucking collision. We take pride in handling trucking cases and will work tirelessly for you and your family. If you were injured in a truck accident, or if your loved one was killed, Biby Law Firm is here to help. Call our experienced Tulsa truck accident lawyers at 918-574-8458 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We don’t get paid unless we win your case.